WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its case in a challenge to ObamaCare, saying the ACLJ lawsuit is separate and distinct from other challenges pending before the Court because it includes a claim that the individual mandate, which forces Americans to purchase health insurance or pay annual penalties, violates the rights of two of its clients who oppose health insurance on religious grounds.
"The case we are making in our appeal to the high court is that we represent clients who not only believe ObamaCare is a flawed law, but argue that being forced to participate in ObamaCare - under penalty of law - violates their religious beliefs under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.
The ACLJ filed its reply brief with the Supreme Court today in its appeal of a lower court decision upholding the dismissal of its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. In its reply brief, posted here, the ACLJ urges the high court to accept the appeal now in tandem with the Florida case currently before the high court. Along with challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the ACLJ's case includes a unique RFRA claim and provides the Court with an additional vehicle by which to consider the impact the individual mandate has on those Americans who, like the ACLJ's clients, object to taking part in the health insurance system for religious reasons.
In the Florida appeal before the high court, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief just last week - representing 117 members of Congress and more than 100,000 Americans - urging the Justices to determine that the individual mandate is inextricably linked to the health care law itself, and that by declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional, the entire law must be rejected as well.
In its reply brief filed today, the ACLJ argues that the RFRA claim makes its case unique among the other ObamaCare cases now pending before the Court. The ACLJ contends its case should be considered separately, but acknowledges that the court may decide to hold its appeal pending the outcome of the Florida case, then grant certiorari, vacate the decision below, and remand for further proceedings in light of the high court's decision in the Florida case.
The ACLJ is also preparing to file amicus briefs next month with the high court concerning two other ObamaCare issues now being considered by the Justices. The ACLJ will argue that the Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits lawsuits that prevent the assessment or collection of taxes, does not apply to ObamaCare. And, in a separate brief, the ACLJ will address why the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The high court will hear oral arguments on the challenges to ObamaCare during a three-day period in March.
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice